League 2

Kevin Nolan watch: Two late goals earn Notts County a point against Exeter

The Magpies left it late but two added time goals from Richard Duffy and debutant Jorge Grant sealed a point against ten men Exeter during an entertaining clash.

Exeter took the lead on 33 minutes thanks to David Wheeler before doubling their lead in the 89th minute from a tap-in by Ryan Harley. It wasn’t over there, however, as the hosts fought back through a Richard Duffy header and a late leveller from Jorge Grant, thanks to a lucky deflection.

Notts started the game positively, with Jon Stead and Alan Smith up front creating a physical presence that caused a nuisance to the Exeter defence but they couldn’t break the deadlock, with the latter putting in some very physical tackles.

The away side took the lead against the run of play though after 32 minutes when winger David Wheeler raced in on goal and slotted the ball beyond Collin in goal – the 13th league goal of the season for the 26-year-old.

The Grecians nearly made it 2-0 just four minutes later but Ollie Watkins’ shot from a tight angle was blocked by the keeper.

Notts came out fighting in the second half but it was all too visible to see they were lacking quality.

Boss Kevin Nolan then rolled the dice with a double substitution on the hour, brining on winger Jorge Grant who is on loan from neighbours Nottingham Forest and Nolan’s old Newcastle team-mate Shola Ameobi.

Ameobi immediately looked a threat in the box, frequently winning headers and causing problems but nobody could get on the end of them, much to the frustration of the home crowd.

On 85 minutes, Exeter were reduced to ten men as midfielder Jake Taylor was shown a second yellow card for an awful tackle on County’s Milsom.

Jorge Taylor scoring on his Forest debut at Spurs in the 2014/15 League Cup.

Four minutes later the game looked to be over as Exeter countered and Ryan Harley tapped in a rebound at the far post after he saw Liam McAlinden’s shot parried.

Nolan’s men didn’t give up there however, and into the first of four minutes added on – defender Richard Duffy headed in his second in two games from an in-swinging free-kick to half the deficit.

It looked to be a consolation but it wasn’t over there.

Jorge Grant weaved his way into the box on the left-hand side before firing a shot at goal that took a heavy deflection off Exeter’s Moore-Taylor into the back of the net, to lift the roof off Meadow Lane.

After the game, Nolan praised his side: “I’m absolutely delighted with the character the lads shown, I think today we’ve shown everyone what we’re about. I think we deserved at least a point out of the game tonight. I was disappointed with their two goals but overall delighted with the response”.

Jorge Grant added: “I loved every minute of that. I came off the bench to make an impact and I certainly thought I did that. I’ll definitely claim it (the equaliser) and the point is massive and we need to take it into Saturday now but I thought we battled hard”.

The ex Newcastle star Nolan has now picked up eight points from his first seven games, but are still only one point clear of Leyton Orient in the bottom two – who they travel to on Saturday in a massive game.

Alex Storey





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